Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Net Neutrality on WCQS, 88.1 FM. Wednesday at 6pm

The fight for Net Neutrality is about ensuring that the internet revolution that's taken place over the last two decades continues to move in the most innovative, most universally accessible ways. Big Telecom companies are, as you might imagine, trying to figure out how to squeeze every last nickel out of the internet. Their ideas include having premium sites that cost more to access. These "premium" sites are made so at the discretion of the telcos.

Save The Internet: "Internet service providers like Comcast have claimed that the only way to manage their networks is to either disconnect customers that exceed undisclosed bandwidth limitations or secretly block applications like BitTorrent and Gnutella."

There have been a lot of folks paying attention to this struggle. Big corporate interests who want to control and exploit the internet are about to be investigated by the FCC, and you can send an email about it here.

This is another reason I'm excited that BlogAsheville and MAIN are getting together. Internet users and content providers like BlogAsheville have a unique perspective in this fight, and so do non-profit internet providers like MAIN.

In an email, Wally Bowen says,

"The threat to our civil liberties from the growing corporate control of the Internet -- enabled by the FCC and US Supreme Court -- is real. This control also threatens to stifle the kind of technological innovation and economic growth enabled by the Internet over the last 15 years or so.

As one of the few surviving nonprofit Internet service providers (ISPs) in the nation, MAIN is in the forefront of this nationwide and global struggle to preserve an open, non-discriminatory Internet.

I believe the outcome of this struggle will shape the future of our democracy for decades to come, as did a similar struggle for control of the public airwaves in the 1928-1934 period."

You can catch Wally Bowen and UNCA Professor Mark Ward Wednesday night at 6pm on David Hurand's show, "Conversations", on WCQS, 88.1 FM. They're going to explain net neutrality and discuss the option available to preserve an innovative, democratic internet.

Give a listen, and give a call if the spirit moves you. Ensuring net neutrality ensures continued breakneck innovation and continually expanding access. If you like democracy, you love the internet. And if we're not fighting for it, then who will?

{crossposted over at Scrutiny Hooligans}

1 comment:

Gordon Smith said...

From today's AC-T:

"Partnering with Meraki Networks in Mountain View, Calif., MAIN wants to turn Asheville into a “Wi-Fi City” with a wireless mesh network, said Wally Bowen, MAIN’s executive director. MAIN offers the Meraki mesh network, with neighbor-to-neighbor sharing of the wireless signal, to about 400 subscribers in areas of Montford, West Asheville, Chestnut-Liberty and stretches of Biltmore Avenue.

MAIN has received an $80,000 grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to help bridge the digital divide between homes that can afford Internet service and lower-income families without Internet.

Turning Asheville into a Wi-Fi-equipped city is about social justice and economic growth, Bowen said."